Maternity in Focus

Maternity in Focus – The Public Maternity System Plan for 2022-2032

Latest news: Expressions of Interest for the Maternity in Focus Advisory Group and the Perinatal Mental Health Reference Group are now closed. Visit YourSay Conversations for updates.

Maternity in Focus: The ACT Public Maternity System Plan 2022-2032 (Maternity in Focus) is a consolidated action and implementation plan that addresses national and local strategies, in addition to recommendations from the Inquiry. It is a holistic approach to maternity system reform underpinned by a focus on individualised care, equity, and evidence.

The recommendations from the following documents were consolidated in the development of Maternity in Focus:

The system-wide focus of the plan will deliver system and service level changes that better support the needs of individuals accessing the public maternity systems and the multidisciplinary health professionals working within the system. Through this plan, there will be ongoing involvement with consumers, community sector and health professionals to evolve the maternity system to meet the ongoing needs and desires of consumers and health professionals.

Development of Maternity in Focus was led by ACT Health in close collaboration with Canberra Health Services, the former Calvary Public Hospital (now North Canberra Hospital) and Queen Elizabeth II Family Centre (QEII), consumers, non-government organisations, academic leads in maternity related fields, and health service providers. Ongoing, strong collaboration and engagement by all public maternity services providers, consumers and interested external stakeholders will be vital to successfully implement Maternity in Focus.

Over the next ten years, we will work together to make changes to the public maternity system and services through evidence and innovation to achieve these goals and actions, and to make the ACT public maternity services the best in Australia. 

In the next four years, the ACT Government will commence implementation of Maternity in Focus through the Maternity in Focus: First Action Plan 2022-2025. The actions identified for implementation over this timeframe will deliver essential reform, create the foundation to evolve the public maternity system and deliver on Government commitment to delivery better care when and were people need it.

Public maternity services

Canberra Health Services

Canberra Health Services provides public maternity care including pregnancy, birth and early parenting services. This care may be in the community, at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children or at North Canberra Hospital.

Your maternity care may include care from midwifery, medical and allied health team members as required. Care may be midwife-led, obstetrician-led, or shared with your general practitioner.

Centenary Hospital for Women and Children

The Centenary Hospital for Women and Children provides all levels of maternity care including for women, birthing parents and babies with serious or complex health conditions.

Centenary Hospital is the regional maternity referral service.

North Canberra Hospital

The North Canberra Hospital provides pregnancy, birthing and postnatal care for women and birth parents with low to moderate risk pregnancies.

If you require tertiary level maternity or neonatal care, you will be transferred to Centenary Hospital for ongoing management.

Find more information about your maternity care options from Canberra Health Services.

To book into public maternity care follow these steps.

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander maternity services

If you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or are pregnant with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child, you can choose to receive your care through  Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services, or through Canberra’s public or private maternity systems.

Shared care with your doctor

You may choose pregnancy care that is shared with your doctor (GP) if you are healthy with an uncomplicated pregnancy.

Your pregnancy care is shared between public hospital maternity services and your doctor.

During your pregnancy, some of your appointments will be with your doctor and some with a midwife from the hospital.

You get to continue or build up a relationship with your doctor who will support the long-term needs of your growing family.

If you are interested in this model of care discuss this with your doctor.

Private maternity services

You may choose to see a private obstetrician for your maternity care.

If this is the case, please see your doctor to get a referral to see an obstetrician of your choice.

You may choose to a private midwife for your maternity care.

Private midwives may offer pregnancy and birthing care, or care for the whole childbearing journey. Private midwifery care may also offer the option of homebirth.

For more information about private maternity services visit the having a baby in Canberra website.

Calvary John James Hospital

The Calvary John James Hospital Maternity Unit was founded in 1994 and provides obstetric services, including:

  • private ensuite rooms
  • antenatal assessments
  • birthing suites
  • maternity education classes and workshops
  • midwifery care
  • special care nursery


Front page of Maternity in Focus ACT System Plan




Maternity in Focus First Action Plan



Page last updated on: 22 Aug 2023